Posted by Dale Buss on August 9, 2012 09:02 AM
Google goes back to the drawing board for Nexus Q black ball.
HP writes down $8 billion.
Ikea name sold to Dutch company.
Lane Bryant reveals new campaign and tagline.
Macy's raises outlook as profits surge.
NBC gets high marks from viewers for Olympics coverage.
Nestle warns of slowdown in U.S. market.
Nokia sells app-development unit.Continue reading...
Posted by Barry Silverstein on August 8, 2012 04:14 PM
Visa's high-profile TV campaign for the London 2012 Olympics, like the commercial featuring Michael Phelps, carry the tagline, "People everywhere go with Visa." But what that doesn't tell you is that people everywehere at the London Olympics go ONLY with Visa.
That's because every one of the ATMs at the Olympic games accepts only Visa cards. It gets worse: There are only eight — count 'em, eight — ATMs across all of the London Olympic venues, according to the UK's This is Money. In fact, an agreement with Visa led to the removal or disabling of twenty-seven other ATMs.
Basically, that means anyone attending the Olympics without a Visa card needs to bring cash. To speed purchases — in keeping with the brand's London 2012 ambassador Usain Bolt — Visa instituted a contactless payment system, so visitors can wave their Visa card at a payment terminal to get food and souvenirs, or in one a few of London's iconic black cabs.
But on July 29 at Wembley, where Great Britain was playing the United Arab Emirates in football, aka soccer, the system went down. As a result even Visa cardholders were left out in the cold — which is not entirely unusual for Londoners to feel, but still.Continue reading...
chew on this
Posted by Dale Buss on August 8, 2012 03:12 PM
McDonald's reported that same-store sales in July were flat worldwide, and it's getting some social-media flack because of its Olympics sponsorship — neither of which casts a rosy pall on the present reality of its business. But as the chain moves further into the new era of new CEO Don Thompson, it continues to innovate, test and probe for fresh ways to expand the brand, the franchise and its business model. Now those trials include breakfast in the wee hours of the night.
Thanks to the stagnating U.S. economy and greater competition globally, McDonald's reported that sales last month at stores open at least 13 months were unchanged worldwide while sales at domestic locations fell by 0.1 percent. Analysts had expected better on both counts. Meanwhile, because it's a purveyor of fat- and calorie-and sugar-laden products that global citizens want to eat — in contrast with the lean, healthy image of Olympians — McDonald's has been getting more criticism on Twitter than the two dozen other big Olympic sponsors, according to an analysis by WPP's MediaCom.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on August 8, 2012 12:59 PM
General Motors is scrutinized daily by thousands of automotive and business journalists as well as investors and U.S.-government policymakers and a whole host of other people, and yet there remains a mystery about exactly why GM CMO Joel Ewanick became persona non grata so abruptly on July 29th. The latest disclosures, via Bloomberg News, paint a picture of a relationship betweeen Ewanick and his CEO that unraveled in part over lack of decorum.Continue reading...
Posted by Abe Sauer on August 7, 2012 06:59 PM
His one-legged hop from the starting blocks to a wheelchair could have symbolized the marketing campaigns of a handful of major western brands that had put their hopes in Chinese gold medalist hurdler Liu Xiang. For the second straight Games, Athens gold winner Liu failed to even jump the first hurdle in a preliminary round. On the upside, it was about five steps further than his Beijing 2008 performance.
China's reaction cannot be overstated. Chinese microblog Weibo flooded with millions of posts, ranging from the sympathetic to the cynical — "as expected" went one common comment. A day later, "Liu Xiang" was still the third most popular Weibo topic.
But another thing happened on Weibo following Liu Xiang's implosion. All of the brands that had invested heavily in him as their sponsor—BMW, Mini, Nike and more—rushed to switch messaging gears. Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on August 7, 2012 06:22 PM
Today's Brandlympics is brought to you by Google's ridiculously addictive homepage doodle — an interactive hurdles game.
Olympic Park Saturated with Branding
Visitors to London can still find mentions of brands that haven’t shelled out millions to be official sponsors out in the city’s streets, but as they get closer to Olympic venues and particularly Olympic Park, the other brands slide away until they are completely saturated with sponsor branding. Whether it is recycling bins with a Coke logo on them; an outdoor theater sponsored by British Airways so those without tickets to events can witness them; a salon at P&G's pavilion; a crazy, interactive Coca-Cola sculpture; only eight (!) cash machines that only shell out money to Visa cardholders; the world's biggest McDonald's, or the logo-less Goodyear blimp that's convincing some that aliens are watching, the area is heavily branded. Visitors cannot miss learning exactly who has been deemed OK and who has not. And that’s, dear reader, why they pay the big bucks.
Australian Olympic Boss Seeking More CashContinue reading...
Posted by Shirley Brady on August 6, 2012 05:02 PM
Olympics sponsor Adidas customized the red adiZero shoes worn by Britain's Olympics darling Jessica Ennis in gold, following her Heptathlon win on Saturday. (Check out how they did it below.) Adidas is also touting the Barricade 7.0 shoes that Andy Murray wore to beat Roger Federer in the men's tennis final on Sunday — marking Great Britain's first Olympic gold medal in tennis since 1908.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on August 6, 2012 04:28 PM
Jamaica Celebrates as World's Fastest Man and Woman Retain Olympic Titles
Jamaica celebrates its 50th anniversary of freedom today and it couldn't be better timed. Coming on the heels of Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce's 100-meter gold medal on Saturday to retain her title as world's fastest woman, Jamaicans continued the celebration after Bolt won his fourth Olympic gold medal Sunday, this one for the 100-meter dash in London. Before Bolt defended his World’s Fastest Man status and showed off all his post-race antics and unbelievable smile, the Puma-sponsored sprinter had himself a chicken wrap from McDonald’s, according to USA Today. This admission bodes well for Bolt’s wallet as he will likely be a much-sought-after pitchman in the wake of the Games, even as he disagrees with LOCOG's controversial Rule 40 governing athletes' personal sponsors. Only 25 years old, he may have another gold in him four years from now in Brazil. He's certainly not shy; having just passed one million Twitter fans, his bio reads: "The most naturally gifted athlete the world has ever seen."Continue reading...